[b-hebrew] dating of matres lectionis

Uri Hurwitz uhurwitz at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 28 11:45:45 EDT 2005

  Brian,  Yes, there are several examples of  3.f s. there, and it would appear they make a stronger case for vocalized consonants than matres:
    All the "BH" words in the stele ( meaning  "in her" ) are equivalent to the same word " BH"  in the MT; now the Mapiq in the letter He in such words in the Heb. bible clearly indiciates that they are fully pronounced consonant . It is quite possible that this is a reflection of of former final vowel,-- such as *  baha -- lost by the time of the MT ponounciation. 
   This can be deducted from the Arabic "beha"; the final Alif is the marker of all 3.f.s. pronominal suffixes in Arab.
   It can be more dramatically observed in the the qamatz under the "he" in all 3.f.plural Heb. declensioons : e.g..   "dodeyha" "suseyha" .  In the Mesha Stele one exmple would be in line 22 "sh'areyha"  her (its) gates.

"B. M. Rocine" <brocine at twcny.rr.com> wrote:
Uri, I find it interesting that on the Mesha Stele, the final he is not 
only used for the 3. m. s. pronominal suffix, but also the 3. f. s., as 
in line 8 bah. According to contemporary Hebrew phonics such a word 
would be pronounced with an aspirated /h/, that is /bah/ with a 
"breathy" h. Let's assume the two pronominal suffixes, though written 
identically, were pronounced differently. If so, I think the existence 
of different pronunciations for a final he is an expression of matres 


Uri Hurwitz wrote:
> Brian,
> The letter "He" as a pronominal suffix, not only in the examples you 
> cite bellow but also for instance in in A&TR$TH in the Kunt. El- Ajrud 
> may well have been a vocalized consonant, --" ...tahu", as the 
> cited above . In classical Arabic this is the case to the present. 
> Interestingly, like in most cases in BH, this contracts to a syllable in 
> the colloqiual dialects.
> Uri
> */"B. M. Rocine" 
/* wrote:
> Hi Yitzak,
> Will you count the 3. m. s. pronominal suffixes as final he maters?
> There are many of them that are pronounced /o/: (line 6) vayyahlephoh,
> benoh, (7) boh, ubetoh, (8) moh, beyamoh, etc.
> I admit, when we pronounce such final he's as /o/, we may be using
> anachronistic pronunciation rules. IOW, they may have been consonants
> as, I think, Joel Hoffman mentioned as a general possibility for
> epigraphic Hebrew ("Moabite").
> Shalom,
> Bryan

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